Wyedean was formally founded on 7th April, 1964, by David Wright. Before starting his own business, David’s first job after leaving school was as an apprentice textile designer at Bridgehouse mill. Little did he know that 34 years later he would purchase the very same building. At the age of 18 and at the outbreak of the Second World War, David volunteered for the Royal Navy, specifically The Fleet Air Arm. After pilot training in Canada he qualified as a commissioned Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve fighter pilot and served with the now- Legendary Catapult Aircraft Merchant ships NAS (Naval Air Station). 804 Sailing from Belfast in 1941. This squadron provided Air reconnaissance from mid Atlantic to the Western approaches, in trying to protect the British desperately needed convoys from submarine attacks, which were being alerted by the long range German Focke Wulf Condors and causing terrible shipping losses. The Hurricane fighters would have been rocketed fromthe converted Merchant ships to engage in combat with the Condors. The successful or wounded aircraft would ditch in the sea, mostly too far from land. The Hurricane pilot had three minutes to get out before the plane sank, and he would hope to be rescued and not always, before hypothermia killed him. David survived many rocket launches, later becoming C.O. of NAS 702 for a time. During his later pilot career, in 1942-1943 he served in the Aircraft Carrier Formidable in 893 during the Mediterranean invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Wyedean was established in 1964 as a manufacturer of braid and uniform accoutrement. Previously the business was known as Dalton Barton. David joined Dalton Barton in 1959 and was taken on to introduce new blood to the company, to take a hard look at the firm and to move the business away from Coventry as it was proving increasingly difficult to compete for labour with the booming motor industry. New premises were found at Coleford between the River Wye and the Forest of Dean – which eventually inspired a new name: Wyedean Weaving. In 1964, David bought from Dalton Barton the military side of the business manufacturing narrow fabrics and military ceremonial products. This decision started the process of turning Wyedean Weaving into the business it is today. He set out purchasing the appropriate machinery and moving the business to Haworth. From the early days of the business, David’s father, Frank Wright M.B.E. served as company director until his death in 1975. Frank was a textile machine designer who worked at Keighley’s Prince, Smith and Stell for over 40 years. He was awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his inventing an entirely new yarn spinning technique called centrifugal spinning. Norma, David’s wife, has also been involved in the business for the last 50 years, serving first as Company Secretary and currently as Chairman. In fact, since 1964 there have been four generations of the Wright family working in the mill with three still actively involved. In his younger days, David enjoyed stunt [...]
While in the modern industrial era rope is manufactured on a dedicated rope-making machine, traditionally it was made using what’s called a ropewalk. A ropewalk is a long straight narrow lane where long strands of material are laid out before being twisted together to make rope. The word walk comes from the fact that ropewalks were often extremely long and required that the workers literally walk up and down as they threaded each strand or ply on to the ropewalk machine’s spinning hooks. Some workers even used bikes if the rope walk was especially long. Ropewalks were notorious for being hard sweatshops but also a considerable fire hazard as the hemp dust generated was highly flammable and burned angrily. Rope used to be essential for sailing ships such as HMS Victory which required over 20 miles of rope. The ropewalk at Chatham Dockyard still produces rope and has an internal length of 346m. In 1790, when it was constructed, it was the longest brick building in Europe. Before steam power was introduced in 1836 it took over 200 men to form a close 20-inch cable-laid rope. The first stage of rope production was the spinning and tarring of raw hemp and Manila hemp into yarn before the rope walk is used to form and close the finished rope. At Wyedean we have our own 25m rope walk which is still used to this day to produce small samples and short ropes. The following video shows a demonstration of how the rope walk works with explanation from Wyedean’s managing director Robin Wright. In this video Robin shows how we make a horse lead for the Royal Horse Artillery, King’s Troop.
Wyedean has manufactured narrow fabrics for over 150 years. Although its product range has grown vastly, narrow fabrics remain one of its core products. Everything that Wyedean holds in stock is available to buy on the webshop which also showcases the live stock figure. For rolls of 50 metres of more, please contact us directly for a quote. If you have any other requirements Wyedean can manufacture in various colours and using a variety of compositions. Braids - A lightweight narrow fabric which is made up of three or more strands to form a plaited structure. Flat Braid A flat braided construction created with the diagonal interweaving of threads. Hercules Braid A flat braided construction created with longitudinal threads as well to eliminate constructional stretch. Llama Braid A flat braided construction using 73 ends of fine-count worsted yarn. Russia Braid A flat braided construction using twin rib tracing braid. String Braid Strings made with a braided and knit braided tubular construction. Tubular Braid A braid made with a hollow core to create a tubular construction. Cords- A medium weight flexible fabric with a round cross section of braided or cable twisted structure. Braided Cord A braided cord with a tubular construction with a filled core. Twisted Cord A ply cord with a twisted or cabled construction of multiple plies. Laces - A lightweight narrow fabric with a patterned design. Bias and Stand Lace (B&S) A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a Bias and Stand design. Chevron Lace A worsted herringbone woven lace with a cotton interwoven chevron design. Composite Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a warp effect with central colour ribs. Diced & Striped Lace A woven multicoloured warp effect with a double plain weave producing a chequered or striped construction. Granby Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a granby design. Handwoven Lace A woven lace made by hand using a dobby loom, this method allows for intricate designs with embellishments. Herringbone Lace A woven and worsted herringbone construction lace with a 2 x 2 twill design. Hopsack Lace A woven lace with a 2 x 2 twill in a hopsack design. Laurel Lace A woven weft effect with a rayon weft, cotton warp and a laurel leaf design. Masonic Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a masonic design. Metallic Lace A lace woven using metallic threads. Naval Lace A metallic woven lace with a weft effect and a naval or ribbed design. Non - Metallic Lace A woven lace manufactured using a non metallic thread. Oakleaf Lace A woven lace using a weft effect, a rayon weft and a cotton warp with an oakleaf design. Palmleaf Lace A woven lace with a metallic weft effect and a palmleaf design. Ranking Lace A woven lace with a weft rib effect and a warp effect central colour rib. Regimental Lace A worsted herringbone design and a woven construction lace featuring a warp colour and a [...]